[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/MetroidPrime http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Metroid_Prime_3_Samus_Phazon_7632.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Her warranty doesn't cover that.]]

You've got a nice form of AppliedPhlebotinum, and it's pretty powerful. But sometimes it's just not enough. You need [[TimTaylorTechnology more power]]. So what do you do?

Fortunately, you've somehow stumbled upon a [[PowerGlows shiny]], new PowerSource, stronger and easier to use than your current model. WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong

Quite a bit, actually. See, your "new-and-improved" power source isn't near as safe as your old one. Sure, it'll get you the power you need, but [[PowerAtAPrice at a very high price]]. [[MadeOfExplodium Explosions]], [[PowerDegeneration crippling injury]], and sometimes even [[BodyHorror mutations]] can result if you overuse it. Better hope you can finish the job quickly or [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Zorlak the Planet Wedgier]] will be the least of your health concerns.

Unlike most dangerous forms of Applied Phlebotinum, this one is more likely to be used by the heroes, probably because unlike most other forms, this type's danger lies not in corruption but in simple explosions which would endanger the user more than the environment, making the risk heroic. See also PsychoSerum. Sometimes overlaps with SentientPhlebotinum, in which case it's liable to become TheCorruption or TheVirus.

No real life examples please!


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Inverted in ''GaoGaiGar FINAL''. The villains' power source is the "Loud G-Stone", which has a constant power output which is higher than the G-Stones the heroes are using. Of course, the Loud G-Stone isn't powered by '''[[MetaphysicalFuel courage]]'''. Sure enough, Guy's G-Stone power goes through the roof when he gets pissed off enough, and the rest of the robots follow suit. The Sol 11's "non-toxic" Loud G-Stones can't keep up. Guy points this out in his heroic BreakingLecture: "Everything is because you were afraid! Afraid the G-Stone's power would transcend the Loud G-Stone! The power born from ''courage!''"
* In ''BusouRenkin'', it is revealed that Kazuki's Kakugane is actually an unstable black version. The Black Kakugane (which had replaced his heart) causes his body to transform and grants him enormous power as a result. Unfortunately, being in this transformed state causes him to drain the life force of everyone and everything around him [[PowerIncontinence nonstop]], and while the transformed state can be suppressed at first, it eventually becomes permanent.
* Shinsoo, the absolute baseline of power inside the ''TowerOfGod'' is not always agreeable with the human body. Without a certain resistance, people can die in the denser higher levels.
* Sakuradite from ''CodeGeass'' is this, basically. Rumored to be the Philosopher's Stone of old, significant amounts of it were found in Japan (duh) under mount Fuji. While not used as a power source per se, the primarily electricity-based [[LikeRealityUnlessNoted alternate world]] that ''Code Geass'' universe is based in (as opposed to steam and fossil-fuel based) makes Sakuradite very valuable as a room-to-high temperature superconductor. It is basically ''the'' phlebotinum that makes [[GameBreaker Game Breakers]] such as the [[HumongousMecha Lancelot Knightmare Frame]]. The "toxic" part comes in that Sakuradite, especially in liquid form, is ''very'' volatile. How volatile? Volatile enough to make it viable ''as a booster in a nuke-slash-antimatter bomb''.
* The imperfect philosopher's stones and red water they're made from in ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'', which are extremely poisonous in and of themselves, and have an increased risk of [[PhlebotinumOverload alchemical rebound]].
* The prototype GN Tau drives in ''{{Gundam 00}}'' have power only slightly below that of the "true" GN drives but their crimson red particles cause cellular abnormalities in humans that prevent tissue regeneration (just look at what happened to poor [[spoiler:Louise]]) and eventually kill the subject (almost happened to [[spoiler:Lasse]] and maybe [[spoiler:Graham]]) in exchange for being far faster and easier to mass-produce. The final mass-production version fixes this issue which also [[LawOfChromaticSuperiority incidentally]] changes the particles' color to orange.

* Starting with PostCrisis version of TheDCU, LexLuthor was able to harness kryptonite in a variety of means of bedeviling {{Superman}}. Unfortunately, Luthor learns the hard way that kryptonite radiation is also harmful to humans with sufficient exposure.
* In the MarvelUniverse, attempts to weaponize adamantium in SuperSoldiers met problems because adamantium is toxic. One of their first successful subjects was {{Wolverine}}, who had a HealingFactor that kept the adamantium from killing him. The tradeoff for him is that his Healing Factor lost some of its potency.
* In the ''ComicBook/IronMan'' online Infinite Comics story "Fatal Frontier", the discovery of phlogistone, moonrocks that gained special powers after being exposed to various kinds of Phlebotinum (the Power Infinite, the Phoenix Force, etc.) kicks off a wave of colonization and industry on the moon. Tony eventually finds evidence that phlogistone [[spoiler:also corrupts souls.]] After discovering this Tony puts all of his efforts into keeping phlogistone out of anyone's hands while looking for a way to depower it.

* ''Film/IronMan2'': The palladium components of Tony's chest-mounted arc reactor decay over time and emit toxins into his blood, slowly killing him. [[spoiler: At least, until he perfects the technology using a hidden schematic from his dead father to make a new atomic element to replace the Palladium.]]
** This is really an inversion, since it's the original reactor that is killing him, and the shiny new one that is actually safe.
** That it worked at all is a minor miracle.

* Naquadriah is the variant unstable form of Naqadah in ''Series/StargateSG1''. It's the basic form of this trope; more power can be taken from it, but it's unstable.
** In fact, naquadriah's instability depends on how much energy you are trying to get from it. Higher energy means ''exponentially'' higher instability to the point where the X-302 attempted a hyperjump via its naquadriah-powered hyperdrive but the guidance computer automatically and intentionally missed the hyperspace window to avoid the craft being blown to pieces upon entry, and he ''Prometheus'' experienced a misjump while using its much bigger hyperdrive. After these incidents and the acquisition of some serious Asgard tech, naquadriah was never used for anything aside from boosting the yield of nuclear warheads - something the stuff is very good at.
* In ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' they try extracting energy from an alternate reality, which will destroy the reality in question. No one has a problem with it at first since the chances of the reality being inhabited are astronomically small. Predictably, the alternate reality is inhabited and they have to deplete the ZPM (their usual power source) to stop the energy transfer before it is destroyed.
* Trilithium, the dangerous form of dilithium in the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' universe.
** The Omega Molecule. The most powerful and dangerous ''thing'' in the universe. So much so that the Federation has a strict policy to destroy them [[GodzillaThreshold at all costs]] (ordinary destructive things just destroys things. Omega Molecules can screw up subspace, meaning ''warp travel becomes impossible in the area'').

* Ghost rock from ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' was bad enough, what with miners and scientists using it contracting "rock fever" and spontaneously combusting, and the mineral itself highly explosive. If you want [[TimTaylorTechnology more power]] (and you're in one of the series' far-future settings) make [[ILoveNuclearPower irradiated]] ghost rock. TropeCo not responsible for mutations, cancers, and death.
* In ''ForgottenRealms'' the Shadow Weave is an alternative arcane magic PowerSource, mostly incompatible with normal magic which in itself brings some advantages. Its use involves either [[DealWithTheDevil a pact with one of evil deities]] or taking mental/spiritual damage.
* Warpstone from ''WarhammerFantasy'' is not merely the setting's local GreenRocks, it can be used to boost magic workings and the skaven use it not only as the basis of their economy, but to power their MagiTek... everything. As a downside, it's a magical, madness-inducing [[TheCorruption mutagen]]. Oh, and if it's used to "enhance" gunpowder, it makes it more powerful, and far more unstable (with a toxic cloud of powder smoke when ignited).

* Phazon, pictured above, from the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' series. Although there is no "safe" form of Phazon: it comes in "unstable and uber-deadly" blue and "even more unstable and uber-deadly" orange, unless you have the Phazon Suit from the original ''Prime'', in which case you take no damage from the blue Phazon. Orange Phazon still hurts, though.
** The Phazon Suit seems to have a lot in common with the Omega Pirate, which the Space Pirate research notes pointed out led to [[PsychoSerum insanity and a much shorter lifespan]]. Fortunately, Samus kills Metroid Prime, who [[TakingYouWithMe tries to kill Samus, but instead]] removes the Phazon before this happens.
** ''Un''fortunately, Metroid Prime somehow merges with the suit, gains Samus's intellect, and spends the next two games spreading [[TheCorruption Phazon]] across the galaxy.
** Somehow, it's not surprising that Phazon is actually the substance of an EldritchAbomination [[GeniusLoci planet]] out to [[TheVirus take over the universe]].
* Tiberium in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer''. A virulent crystalline "plant", it leaches minerals from the soil and forms them into easily-harvested crystals on the surface, which is a hell of a lot easier than mining. The downside is that tiberium fields emit extremely toxic gases, mutates local flora, kills local fauna and is unstoppably spreading across the world.
** In later games, blue form of tiberium gives double the resources, but also explodes when you shoot it. And let's not get into the liquid form, which creates explosions visible from space.
** The Scrin don't suffer from these effects. On the contrary, they actually need regular infusions of Tiberium to survive. This is reflected in gameplay by Scrin units regenerating health while on Tiberium.
*** Makes sense, as tiberium is a Scrin xenoforming agent.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' has Exspheres, which are used to power various {{Magitek}} and can be equipped for a combat boost... but without a keycrest made of special materials, they eventually [[BodyHorror turn people into monsters]].[[spoiler: They're also activated by [[PoweredByAForsakenChild human souls]].]]
* ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore 4/For Answer'' has Kojima particles, which aren't dissimilar from GM or Minovsky particles, but turns the [=NEXT=]s into {{Walking Wasteland}}s
* Cleria in ''VideoGame/{{Ys}} I'' and ''II''. It bolstered the titular civilization's rise to prosperity, but also caused its downfall. Said to be a corrupt form of Emelas.
* The [[{{Precursors}} ancient civilization]] in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' was doing well using the powers of the sun and the elements. Then they discovered a certain sleeping EldritchAbomination and decided to tap its power instead... Well, let's just say it did not end well.
* Data Draining from ''Franchise/DotHack'' is a form of this, as normal use inflicts status effects on the main character, but overuse is much worse. For one, side effects occur more often when you Data Drain more often (due to increased spread of the virus). However, the worst effect you can experience is [[NonStandardGameOver your character being randomly, unavoidably, and irretrievably corrupted]].
* The Lutece Fields (aka Tears) in ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'' allow its users to peek or to travel into other timelines. Prolonged exposure to them causes cancer, [[spoiler:sterility and rapid aging]].
* In ''VideoGame/PhantomDust'' [[spoiler:the same Dust that made the original Edgar a RealityWarper with ThePowerOfCreation fatally poisoned him.]] The Dust doesn't seem to have the same effect on anyone else [[spoiler:because they aren't really human.]]
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'' has the magical ore lyrium. The raw substance is toxic and can only be safely mined by dwarves, who then process it into a useful state. "Safe" lyrium can make mana potions for mages, enchant weapons and armor, and help Templars develop their AntiMagic abilities. Too bad long-term use can lead to [[FantasticDrug addiction, mental instability]] and, in extreme cases, mutation - the codex claims that Tevinter Magisters who overused the stuff stopped looking human. The sequels introduce red lyrium, which works faster and eventually [[spoiler: turns you into a lyrium statue or monster]].

* Energon, in ''{{Transformers}}: Energon''.
** The G1 series had an episode where they created anti-matter for Megatron to absorb and pelt the Autobots with. He subsequently had to eject it later in fear of ''DEATH''.
*** [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: '''[[Literature/Discworld You RANG? ]]
** Also in G1, The Matrix Of Leadership is ''usually'' a powerup for any 'bot lucky enough to have a high affinity for it. Its also Unicron's kryptonite, so when Scourge (a Unicron-made bot with Matrix affinity) picked it up, he simultaneously got a lot stronger and ''started melting''.
** ''TransformersAnimated'' uses [[TeleportersAndTransporters transwarp energy]] to fuse organic and machine elements, turning Wasp into Waspinator. Unfortunately, it's unstable, and he later fully ''explodes, teleporting'' at the same time. (He gets better.)
** A somewhat less toxic variant was Nucleon. Created pretty much as an excuse for the Action Masters, it was more efficient and more powerful than Energon, but for some reason prevented them from actually transforming - supposedly forever. This, of course, became the excuse for the Powermasters, who could cleanse their partners of the Nucleon, regain their transformation ability, AND help boost their power levels to the point they were under the Nucleon.
** Ore-13, aka Ultra Energon from IDW comics. It greatly enhances a transformers abilites, but burns out very quickly and leaves the user in a very vulnerable state.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' once featured a crook who used a bodysuit made of a material that both granted invisibility and became toxic under an electric current. Through his spree of small-time robberies, the man was slowly killing himself. His [[CoolCar invisible car]], however, was probably harmless.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' raw Energon is extremely powerful but also very volatile. The reason the Transformers needed beast forms in the first place was to protect themselves from all of the raw Energon on the planet.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' Dark Energon is extremely powerful and dangerous [[spoiler:since it's the blood of Unicron. Megatron's abuse of it has dire consequences for him in the long run: he can never join the Allspark (the Transformers' afterlife) thanks to his contact with Unicron's Anti-spark.]]